September 17, 1972 - November 19, 2021
Dr. Rachel J. Valleley was an incredible spirit – connected to people through love, compassion and a desire to live life to the fullest. Rachel was born on September 17, 1972 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Steve and Elreen Lee. She joined her older brother, Tim, and from the earliest ages, they were inseparable – full of laughter with equal portions of torment. Rachel was a free spirit, who had a love for climbing trees, sports, and sometimes a little mischief. When Rachel was in grade school, she moved to Omaha, Nebraska. She grew up in the Ponca Hills neighborhood of Omaha. Rachel was a bit of a sports extraordinaire – figure skating, running, triathlons, and synchronized swimming. She was fearless and willing to try anything, but her favorite sport was softball. Her dad, Steve, coached her team. When she was older, they played together on the same team – a fierce father/daughter duo. Rachel attended Marian High School, graduating in 1990. While at Marian she expanded her skills and followed her father’s diverse interests. She found her love of speech. In stories, she would often recall how devious she and her friends were. No one suspected shenanigans from this group – she would say “We looked too innocent and were speech nerds.” Rachel always charted her own path – free spirit and full of energy. She loved to laugh, would spontaneously dance, and would sing random song lyrics to bring levity to a tough day. The spontaneous dance moves did not end when she graduated from high school. They continued on throughout her adult life, when she enrolled at the University of Minnesota to study Developmental Psychology. Her Minnesota blood ran deep; she would bleed purple (as Minnesota Vikings fans would say). You could always find Rachel perched in front of the TV during football season, adorned in her best purple, screaming at the television to cheer on her team. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Rachel continued her education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, earning her PhD in School Psychology. She graduated in 2001 and has been a professor with the Monroe-Meyer Institute since that time. Although her life had not been simple or easy, she channeled those experiences to deeply and passionately help others through her work at the Monroe-Meyer Institute. Her work and research always focused on how best to provide support to those who needed it, and for this she had earned a national reputation as a leader in her field. In July of 2021, she was the first female to be promoted to full professor in the psychology department at MMI. During her life, Rachel loved with an open heart especially her two children, Jessica and Jacob. She wanted her children to love big and be kind, and like she did in her life, find their passion and go for it. Rachel was their greatest cheerleader, supporting them through the tough times, yelling chants from the sidelines, and most of all loving them with an infinite love. For many, Rachel will be remembered as a kind and loyal friend, who was not afraid to laugh, cry and savor moments with those she loved. Thank you to all those who wrapped Rachel with love during her life and we ask for continued support of her loved ones. In the words of Rachel – “spontaneously dance, blurt out random song lyrics, be kind, and love to infinity.” Valleley, Rachel J. age 49, passed away peacefully on November 19, 2021. A visitation (9am) and Celebration of Rachel's Life (10am) is planned for Saturday, November 27 at Braman Mortuary, 1702 N. 72nd St, Omaha. Rachel is preceded in death by her parents, Steve and Elrene Lee, and her brother Tim. She is survived by her children, Jessica and Jacob, aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless friends that were family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to University of Nebraska Foundation, P.O. Box 82555, Lincoln NE 68501-2555. Please make checks payable to the NU Foundation and include on the memo line or enclosed note that the gift is in memory of Dr. Rachel Valleley. Please visit nufoundation.org to make an online gift.
Dr. Rachel J. Valleley was an incredible spirit – connected to people through love, compassion and a desire to live life to the fullest. Rachel was born on September 17, 1972 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Steve and Elreen Lee. She joined... View Obituary & Service Information
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